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Marine Cpl. Mick R. Bekowsky

Died September 6, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

21, of Concord, Calif.; assigned to 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; killed Sept. 6 due to enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq.

A world away from his little sister, Mick R. Bekowsky sounded tired and homesick in calls home from Iraq, but he always asked Haley, 12, how her softball team was doing. "They were eight years apart and had two different lives," Brian Bekowsky said of his children. "They both thought they'd have plenty of time to be brother and sister." The 21-year-old assaultman from Concord, Calif., was killed Sept. 6 by a car bomb in Iraq's Anbar province. He was stationed at Camp Pendleton. The Marine liked to race cars, hunt and fish. His father said he wanted to be "the life of the party." "He was a macho 21-year-old boy who thought he was immortal," said his mother, Joan Bekowsky. Bekowsky enlisted a month after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, shortly after graduating from high school. He was killed weeks before he was due to return home. "He was the boy next door, the boy you went to high school with, the guy who works at McDonald's," the Marine's father said. "We picture them as soldiers carrying M-16s, but they're boys."

— Associated Press

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